With R&D labs in Pawcatuck, Connecticut, Fulton, New York, and at the company’s subsidiary in Suzhou, China, Davis-Standard customers have several options for making parts for proof-of-concept, experimenting with new resins, conducting materials development and testing equipment prior to making large capital investments.
According to John Christiano, Davis-Standard’s vice president of technology, the range of lab capabilities has been instrumental in supporting customers pre and post purchase, while also allowing for continuous internal technology development for Davis-Standard.
“Davis-Standard has always prioritized technology development,” he says. “I think it’s one of our greatest attributes, making us unique as a company. Over the past year, we’ve had more than 150 customer lab trials among our three lab locations. These trials have included screw design development for smooth bore, groove feed and high-speed extruders, as well as product development trials for medical tubing, cast film, sheet and liquid coating applications. We use a wide range of resins, including those for multi-layer coextrusion applications. It’s always rewarding to see how this technology improves customer processes and profitability.”
Christiano notes that each lab gives customers multiple options in terms of equipment, control systems and feedscrew technology. The labs are also staffed by extrusion engineers with hundreds of years of combined experience and industry knowledge.
At Davis-Standard’s Technical Center in Pawcatuck, the company offers labs for single screw extrusion, coextrusion sheet applications and medical tubing. The single screw extruder lab has both smooth bore and groove feed technology as well as a high-speed extruder, vented and non-vented options and extruder L/D configurations ranging from 24:1 to 40:1 depending on application.
The Fulton lab is committed to converting processes, offering capabilities for unwind and winding, extrusion coating, lamination and cast film applications, as well as liquid coating and pelletizing. The winding and unwinding lab enables customers to evaluate different methods of unwinding, rewinding and automatic transfer as well as technology for cost-effective roll changes and dual direction winding. For coating, lamination and cast film processes, the line is set up for cast films up to 54 inches (1,372 mm) wide and for extrusion coating in widths up to 50 inches (1,270 mm). This includes resin blending, drying capabilities, coextrusion feedblocks and a selection of dies, winding and unwinding options. The liquid coating production and pilot line features advantages such as a multifunctional cooling section with laminating nip, auxiliary single position unwind, turret winder roll changer, SurfaStart winder, and configurations for reverse gravure, direct gravure, slot die, contact die, smooth, hot melt and more. The pelletizing lab is comprised of an extrusion system for underwater/water or air ring pelletizing.
To support regional customer trials and application development, the Suzhou laboratory offers a high-speed FPVC extrusion system and multi-purpose microbore tubing line. The FPVC line is capable of line speeds from 5 to 100 mpm for processing 2 mm to 8 mm OD tubing with accuracy of +/- 50u. Line components include a 63mm extruder, 8m water cooling, precision internal air supply, OD gauge and combination puller-cutter.